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Explore America Summer Internships

The Starr Center’s Explore America Summer Internship program is one of the most exciting and distinctive opportunities available to Washington College students — and characteristic of the hands-on learning that sets us apart from other liberal arts institutions.

We match students with full-time, fully paid summer internships reserved for Washington College undergraduates at an array of leading cultural institutions and nonprofits. Past locations have included five different Smithsonian museums, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the Apollo Theater, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Human Rights Campaign, the U.S. House of Representatives, and many others. In addition to providing paid jobs (up to $5,000 summer stipends) and valuable experience, Explore America Internships introduces students to mentors who sometimes change the course of their lives. Quite a few of our past recipients have been hired upon graduation at the places where they interned. Students from all majors are encouraged to apply. 

Photo: Hannah Flayhart  '22 was a conservation education intern at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Md in the summer of 2021. Educating visitors inside the dolphin exhibit was just one of her duties during her experience. 


About the Program

52nd Street Project, New York, NY
American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, PA
The American Scholar, Washington, D.C.
Apollo Theater, New York, NY
Biggs Museum of American Art, Dover, DE
Brown University's John Carter Brown Library, Providence, RI
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
Center for the Book, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Chadds Ford Historical Society, Chadds Ford, PA
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, VA
Delaware Center for Horticulture, Wilmington, DE
Easterseals of Delaware and Maryland's Eastern Shore, New Castle, DE
George Washington's Mount Vernon, Alexandria, VA
Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, New York, NY
Hagley Museum, Wilmington, DE
Historic Jamestowne, Jamestowne, VA
Human Rights Campaign, Washington, D.C.
LGBT Center, New York, NY
Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA
Library of Congress, Publishing Office, Washington, D.C.,
Maryland Center for History and Culture, Baltimore, MD
Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, MD 
Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia, PA
National Aquarium, Baltimore, MD 
National Archives and Record Administration, Washington, D.C.
National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, D.C. 
National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, GA
National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA 
National Park Service - Harper's Ferry, West Virginia  
National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.
New-York Historical Society, New York, NY
Public Religion Research Institute, Washington, D.C.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute, Suitland, MD
Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art, Washington, D.C. 
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C
Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Society for Women's Health Research, Washington, D.C. 
U.S. House of Representatives, Office of the Historian, Washington, D.C. 
Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, VA
Winterthur Museum, Gardens and Library, Winterthur, DE

The Explore America Summer Internship Program (formerly known as Comegys Bight) provides Washington College students with unique opportunities to integrate their academic work with real-world practice, resulting in experiences that often alter their life paths. Click here to read, see, and hear see more about our interns' past adventures. 

The 30 Washington College students who made up the Explore America Summer Internship 2022 cohort represented 15 majors and came from all four class years at the College. Twenty-four partner sites hosted students in 2022, in a variety of different formats: remote, hybrid, and in-person. 

Jamie Anderson ’25: Chadd's Ford Historical Society 
Isabel Bendel-Simso ’23: National Aquarium
Camryn Bryan ’23: Delaware Center for Horticulture
Elcy Canales Escobar ’24: U.S. House of Representatives – Office of the Historian
Gianna Cannao ’23: New York Historical Society
Julia Clifton ’22: Library of Congress 
Randei Collins ’23: Library of Congress
Kristina Curley ’23: National Endowment for the Humanities
Jillian Curran ’22: Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library
Emilee Daniel ’22: Public Religion Research Institute
Riley Dauber ’25: Chadds Ford Historical Society 
Paige Dauplaise ’24: George Washington's Mount Vernon
Shannel Fraser ’24: Biggs Museum of American Art
Michelle Henry ’23: Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library 
Emily Homer ’22: Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Faithlin Hunter ’23: Smithsonian National Museum of African American History
Alyssa Kovacs ’23: National Park Service
Amy Luther ’22: Society for Women's Health Research
Austen Markus '22: Human Rights Campaign
Sharon Neidringhaus ’23: Delware Center for Horticulture
Kitri Post ’22: Maryland State Archives
Hilde Perrin ’23: Maryland Center for History and Culture
Kamden Richardson ’24: American Philosophical Society 
Lillian Schimp ’22: Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art 
Calder Sharp ’24: National Portrait Gallery
Amara Sorosiak ’23: Hagley Museum and Library
Jude Souazube '24: Smithsonian National Museum of African American History
Nicholas Splendoria '23: National Constitution Center
Katelyn Tack '24: Longwood Gardens
Patricia Woodworth '22: American Philosophical Society

The application period for the 2023 Explore America Summer Internship Program has now closed. For reference, click here to view our list of offerings for this summer. 

Application Instructions for 2023 

The deadline to apply for the 2023 Explore America Internship Program has passed. Please check back in 2024 for next summer's opportunities. 

A completed application includes:

1. An information sheet, available to download here during the open application period. It must include a list of desired internships in order of preference. You may be considered for multiple positions and are encouraged to list several opportunities on your Info Sheet. The Info Sheet also asks you to give the contact information for 3 references (two of which must be Washington College faculty).  

2. A "Letter of Interest" that describes, in some detail, your strengths, interests, and experiences. Be sure to explain how the summer internships you are most interested in will help you to achieve your goals, your career aspirations, and how they connect to your academic work.

3. A resume. 

4. A copy of your Washington College transcript (Student Self Service copies are acceptable). 

Completed applications - with all documents presented in a single PDF or Word document - should be emailed  to


Students from a wide variety of majors are encouraged to apply. The Starr Center will consider applications from former interns, however applicants must articulate how the second internship would build on the previous one, rather than simply being a repetition. Most positions are open to students of all class years, including graduating seniors, although preference is given to sophomores and above.


Stipends for selected interns will be dependent upon a position being full- or -part-time status, up to a maximum of $5,000. These funds may be used to cover living expenses during the internship period or spent/saved at the recipient’s discretion.


Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, the 2023 internship listings include experiences that are remote, in-person, or hybrid (virtual work with limited in-person days or experiences). Please select your preferences accordingly. Selected interns will arrange their start/end dates directly with their host institutions. Most institutions have some flexibility in scheduling, although a few will need their interns to report for work during a specified period of the summer. 


Recipients are required to complete a survey and evaluation of their summer experience, to attend a dinner with the fellowship donors, and give an oral presentation on campus the following fall. Academic credit for these internships may be available on an individual basis.

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee looking for exceptional ability and commitment, excellent academic record, pronounced interest in/knowledge of subject area, strong oral and written communication skills, demonstrated maturity, and reliability. The Starr Center will notify applicants if they have been selected for a position in early March. 

The number of students selected as interns will depend on donor support and other factors. The Starr Center will work to place interns in one of their preferred positions, although we cannot guarantee that each intern will ultimately be matched with one of their top choices.

For more information about specific positions, questions about the application process, or any other questions about the Explore America Summer Internship program, please contact:

Katy Shenk 
Assistant Director for Communications & Outreach
The Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience